One of the many things I enjoy about social media is its ability to connect people with similar experiences. That's why I especially love seeing posts from people living with chronic health conditions, who endure their own unique obstacles in the quest for a happy, fulfilling life. Their candidness about finding joy in spite of these obstacles inspires me, personally, to not let anything stand in my way, and that's exactly how Nick Jonas' Instagram about his diabetes made me feel. In the post, Jonas opened up about the challenges he's faced while living with diabetes, and how he's learned to never give up — and honestly, I've never loved him more.
In addition to a side-by-side comparison of a photo from right before his diagnosis and a more recent picture of himself, Jonas shared a heartfelt explanation of his health journey. The disease took a major toll on his well-being before he was diagnosed, he explained in the IG post, and he described himself in the before photo as being "barely 100 pounds after having lost so much weight from my blood sugar being so high before going to the doctor where I would find out I was diabetic."
But once he was armed with the right knowledge about how to manage his diagnosis, Jonas was able to start taking care of himself and get to a better place with his health. By "prioritizing my physical health, working out and eating healthy and keeping my blood sugar in check," he wrote on Instagram that he is now in "full control of my day to day life with this disease."
Jonas' Instagram post is just the latest message about diabetes awareness that the 26-year-old singer-songwriter has gone public with. In true rockstar fashion, Jonas seems to view his platform as a way to educate his fans — and really, the world — about the struggles of Type 1 diabetes specifically, as well as the general challenges that come with managing any lifelong health issue. According to Entertainment Tonight, the "Levels" singer opened up about his experience with diabetes while accepting the Hero Award at the Radio Disney Music Awards in 2017. As per the news outlet, Jonas accepted his award with a number of young children on the stage with him, telling the crowd, "These kids who are up here are all Type 1 diabetes like myself." He went on to say,
This is a disease I was diagnosed with when I was 13. It was a moment in my life when I was just getting ready to start making music with my brothers, and touring, and it was something I thought would slow me down before I even got started. Thankfully it didn't, and I'm in the healthiest place I've been since my diagnosis.
What I saw as the biggest challenge of my life really did become the biggest opportunity to bring some encouragement to people like these amazing kids and hopefully people like you who are going to have your own struggles in your life.
While Type 2 diabetes tends to be more common, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), about 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes, which is a condition that happens when your pancreas does not produce insulin. As per the organization, "insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body."
Managing a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, according to the ADA, means dealing with daily injections via insulin pens, syringes, or a pump, as well as making certain lifestyle adjustments, like following a specific exercise routine, and being aware of how foods will impact your blood sugar levels.
For more information about diabetes, check out Beyond Type 1, an organization that Jonas helped found, which educates and inspires people with the disease, as well as their loved ones.